I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for Kirin. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
This weekend my sister-in-law and I decided to host a sushi night to celebrate the beginning of spring, inspired by the world famous Cherry Blossom Festival. Spring is the perfect time to celebrate love, friends and family before summer is in full force and everyone is busy with yard work, vacation and summer festivals.
Kirin was kind enough to send us a sampling of their classic Kirin Ichiban and Kirin Light for our guests and us to enjoy with the meal. Kirin was a new beer to Jared and me and we were thrilled to give it a try. Kirin only uses the first strain of malt liquid, which makes it truly beer at it’s purest. It has a clean taste that perfectly compliments bold Asian flavors and traditional Japanese cuisine. Their namesake, the Kirin Beast is considered a good omen of serenity and prosperity.
We invited some loved ones, put together a simple menu and set a beautiful table. Kirin recently partnered with celebrity chef, Candice Kumai to create some Japanese inspired dishes that pair beautifully with Kirin Ichiban and Kirin Light. We adapted two of these recipes for our meal. It took the pair of us about 1.5 hours to complete this menu and set the table. It yielded plenty of food for 6 people.
- A Variety of Sushi Rolls
- Japanese Chicken & Yakisoba Noodles
- Asian Pear & Mango Salad with Honey
- Sushi Ginger (or Gari) for palate cleansing
- Kirin Ichiban & Kirin Light
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Now that I have a freshly renovated bathroom and big soaking tub, I can’t stop trolling etsy for pretty soaps and soaks. With spring upon us, I am in love with everything Seventh Tree Soaps. The packaging and presentation is of course gorgeous, but take a moment and read through some of the scents… Chai & Vanilla (perfect for colder months), Sweet Orange, Carrot & Bergamot and of course Lavender & Rose (which is everything… EVERYTHING). I want one of each please. And I want 100 of those little owls.
For more or to purchase, visit Seventh Tree Soaps at their Etsy Shop. Or follow them on twitter, facebook or their blog.
We have a tiny yard. It’s always been our dream to have a chunk of land. Every spring, when all the seed and plant catalogs show up in my mailbox, I set them all aside and then spend a whole afternoon going through them and dogearing tons of pages. Of course we have nearly run out of room for plants, but I still love to dream about what I would plant if I had a proper acre of fertile land. Here are some fruits, veggies and flowers that are on my wishlist this year…
- Thornless Loganberry / via Stark Bros
- Crimson Red Rhubarb / via Burpee
- White Pumpkins / via Cubits
- Blue Velvet Honeyberry / via Stark Bros
- Evening Sun Sunflower / via Rareseeds
- Atomic Red Carrots / via Rareseeds
- Jane Tulip Magnolia Tree / via DAS Farms
- Lichfield Angel Rose / via David Austin Roses
Looking for something new to read? So was I. I was feeling overwhelmed by my choices so I consulted the experts and asked a local librarian. I told her the titles of the last 3 books I loved and she gave me a short list of recommendations. I’m a quarter of the way through my first pick and I’m so pleased. The librarian nailed it.
- The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
- Longbourn by Jo Baker
Both of these harken back to classics. The Flight of Gemma Hardy is a retelling of Jane Eyre set in 1950-60′s Iceland and Scotland. Even though I know what should happen next, I’ve been plowing through it. Next on my list is Longbourn, which tells the imagined tales of the servants working for the Bennet family. Kind of a mash-up of Austin with Downton Abbey.
If neither of these peek your interest, visit your library branch and chat with a librarian. I’d love to know what they recommend for you! Hopefully soon the weather will be nice enough to take my new books to the park and read in the fresh, spring air.
It’s almost here! Yesterday was the most beautiful day yet. I’m sure we will still have some snow here in Ohio on and off, but I’m ready to start prepping the house for spring. I’ve had a hard time getting motivated, but with the sudden turn in the weather I’ll be working all weekend to check off a couple of the boxes on my list.
Yard & Porch
- Clean up dead plants and leftover leaves in front yard
- Re-Edge beds and add fresh mulch
- Fill pots on porch with annuals
- Fill in gravel at the end of the driveway
- Get quote on rebuilding the front steps
- Clean out raised beds and prep them for seeds
- Rake gravel in back and pull out old weeds
- Cut back the old mint in the side bed to prepare for fresh growth
- Create new bed around the hydrangea under the front window
- Replace burnt out bulbs in the front and back of the house
In the House
- Steam clean all carpets upstairs
- Seal tile floors in bathroom
- Thoroughly clean the entire house (I know that’s broad, but it is what it is)
- Begin organizing the basement to set up new studio space
- Take a HUGE load to goodwill
- Clean out shed to prep for spring gadening
- Patch cracks in walls
Odds & Ends
- Wash car and vacuum out the inside
- Give dogs a good bath to help with shedding
- Take dogs in for annual shots
- Pack away winter clothes
- Clean up grill and re-spray patio set
- Clean out our packs and re-organize our gear
What are you doing to get ready for warmer weather and sunny days?
I’m addicted to phone cases. This week I am totally loving Inked Panda‘s collection of laser engraved bamboo cases. And one lucky reader will win one of these beautiful cases for their Iphone or Samsung Galaxy S4.
Inked Panda combines their love of craftsmanship and on-trend patterns and graphics to create custom made, original and durable phone cases. Their custom monogram cases (like this one) would make amazing bridal party gifts. Or treat a bride to case with her new initials, like this one. I would snag this hybrid case featuring the feather motif for my phone. They also, have a really cool collection of Skyline designs to show off your hometown pride.
Every case is made to order and Inked Panda loves to make custom cases. Get your logo engraved on the back of one of these cases to really impress at your next craft show or networking event.
Entering is super easy. Use the widget below (if you don’t see the widget, click here to be directed to the blog post), enter your email address (so we know how to contact you) and enter away before the time runs out. There are lost of ways to maximize your odds. Winner will be notified by the email provided.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is sponsored by Inked Panda. All opinions expressed are my own. For information on sponsoring a giveaway of your own, visit this page.
Yesterday was the first official day of spring and it’s snowing out. But the good news is that I spotted some bulbs popping up in the front yard. We will be cooped up this weekend but I’ll be thinking sunny thoughts and browsing seed catalogs. Hopefully it will be warm enough for sundresses and sandals soon.
I’m on a strict no-spending kick at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I can’t window shop (and be a bad influence!). Here are my picks to freshen up your spring wardrobe this year. I know some are on the luxury side, but tax refunds are on their way!
- Star-Studded Cast Dress from Modcloth - $49.99
- 14k Gold Pear Pink Tourmaline Ring by Andrea Bonelli - $310.00
- Night Owl Glasses in Frosted Aqua from BonLook - $99.00
- Pink Multi Jutti Flats from TOMS - $84.00
- Blush Avalon Tote from Stella & Dot - $148.00
Product images are all property of the original cited sources. Feel free to pin and share this collage, but please link lovingly back to this post so people can learn more about these picks.
I have a green thumb in the garden, but I have never been able to keep a house plant alive. Still, I am totally fixated on terrariums. Boxwood creates beautiful handmade terrariums in a variety of shapes and sizes. While I love the idea of a classic plantscape inside a terrarium, if I could take one home I would probably use it to store my vintage thread spool collection or simply display it as is on the piano.
For more information and purchasing, visit Boxwood on etsy. Or visit them on their website, pinterest or instagram.
Please note: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Millennial Central for Mrs. T’s Pierogies. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
Today I’m happy to bring you the final part of my two part series with Mrs. T’s Pierogies. In the first part I showed you how to jazz up a simple Minestrone Soup by adding pan seared pierogies to make a hearty meal for a crowd. This month I’m sharing the easiest appetizer for a casual get-together.
We aren’t really sports people, but we do like to occasionally host friends for a game night or movie night. While we love wings, they can be expensive (especially when making them for a larger group of people) and I’ve never had much confidence in cooking them. A perfect alternative is pierogies! I honestly had never considered this option until I saw it in Mrs. T’s recipe ideas. After trying it I truly believe they are a stroke of genius. Did I mention they are also vegetarian?
You won’t believe how quick and easy it is. It only takes about 25 minutes from freezer to table and most of that time is hands off, so you can be working on cutting celery and carrots, setting a table or getting yourself ready for guests.
And they are delicious. They are satisfyingly crispy with just enough heat. The sauce bakes onto the shell to make them easy to eat as well. I caught a few people just picking them up with their hands. The mini pierogies from Mrs. T’s are the perfect size for appetizers. I’m hooked.
Buffalo Pierogies – Party Appetizer
Makes 4 servings. Photos show half of a box. Adapted from Mrs. T’s Pierogies Recipe.
- 1 box Mrs. T’s Potato & Cheddar Mini Pierogies
- 1 cup of oil (I used olive oil)
- 1/2 cup of hot pepper sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
- Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing
- Carrots & Celery for the side
(Note: If you are in a real pinch, you can also just use a bottle of premade buffalo sauce instead of the oil, hot pepper sauce and chili. I did it both ways and it was great either way.)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
- Combine oil, hot pepper sauce and chili powder in a large bowl. Add frozen pierogies and use a spoon to gently coat them with the mixture. (Alternatively, just add the premade sauce to the pierogies in a bowl and toss until coated.)
- Coat baking sheet with cooking spray or spread tray with a thin coat of olive oil. Use tongs to place coated pierogies on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes. Flip pierogies. Bake for another 8-9 minutes on other side until puffed and golden brown.
- Serve with dressing, carrots and celery.
For more information on where to purchase, recipes and more visit Mrs. T’s Pierogies website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.
A year ago this week we brought Finnick home. He has gotten so much stronger and so much more confident over the last year. And we have grown closer as a family. Logan and Finn are brothers. They comfort each other when we are gone, wear each other out in the evening and every once in awhile we catch them having a moment. Their routines have merged and having two dogs is no more time consuming than one was. But we get double the unconditional love.
I seriously don’t know what I would do without those big brown eyes and comically large ears. He is the most cuddly dog I’ve ever met. He is grateful for every meal (seriously, when he finishes eating he seeks us out in the house to say thank you) and a soft spot to nap. He still crawls into the closet at night and he has no shortage of quirks.
So happy one year Finniversary to us!